World War brings iPhone war game app fans a curious online multiplayer real-time strategy experience: a war-based strategy game that doesn’t seem to have much strategy, and barely feels like a multiplayer experience.
Players begin by selecting a country to represent in the game. Following a brief but helpful tutorial that shows you how to purchase buildings, supplies and additional troops, players begin the game in earnest by building up experience through "training" exercises that involve tapping the various titles on the training screen. Sadly, the only strategy involved in this is budgeting your energy levels so you have enough juice to do as much training as possible to gain various skill points integral to leveling up.
From there, players pick their battles from a list of other people playing the game at the same time at the same experience level. This is a nice safety valve which ensures that people levels higher than you can’t simply destroy your army until there’s nothing left of it but a broken tank, but even the battles between similarly leveled armies don’t seem to have a rhyme or reason to their result. My army is obnoxiously big and I have won and lost battles to armies much smaller than mine with no obvious consistency.
Similarly frustrating, when attacked by another army, players receive a notification message on the main screen of the app detailing the results of the battle and little else. No one has any stake in their army or these battles once you hit "attack." Unlike, say, a console RPG where you are able to maintain a defensive stance or approach enemies differently, here you are completely at the whim of the game.
List of gripes aside, there are a multitude of options here to tinker with your army, and it’s possible that playing over a long period of time would reveal a deeper game than what this initially seems to be. I even found myself going back to it to have a few missions while I was writing the review. If the multiplayer aspect of the game is made more prevalent, this would be much more of a surefire purchase than it currently is.